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Man accused of sexual assault

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ELLSWORTH -- Charges were filed Monday in Pierce County Court against a Minnesota man accused of sexually assaulting children.

Bruce Joelson, 43, St. Paul, faces two felony counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 years of age and one felony count of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age.

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The criminal complaint reports three incidents in 2004 in Isabelle Township.

The first charge involves sexual contact with a then-7-year-old girl. The girl, now 11, allegedly told her story to sheriff's department investigators and Pierce County social workers in 2006.

The girl said she knew Joelson because he rented a room from a family friend. One night the girl, her brother and a friend played video games in his room and spent the night there. She said the other two were asleep when Joelson allegedly "started touching me." According to the alleged victim, neither she nor Joelson said anything during the incident.

The contact ended after the other two woke, she said, adding she was scared, according to the complaint.

The second alleged contact happened shortly afterwards, said the girl. She, her brother and the same friend were in Joelson's room playing video games when the brother and friend left the room for a moment.

The girl said Joelson touched her. The touching stopped as soon as the brother and friend came back into the room, she said.

The victim said there was no further contact because Joelson was kicked out of the house.

The complaint also lists an older child who allegedly was assaulted.

If convicted, Joelson faces a maximum of 160 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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